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Classical Conditioning Classical Conditioning (Learning by Association) Classical conditioning is used by trainers mostly to create an association between a stimulus that normally would not have any effect on the animal and a stimulus that would. This type of learning was made famous by Pavlov's experiments with dogs.

Habituation As a prey animal the horse needed highly tuned senses, and a hair trigger for the flight response. However, jumping and fleeing at every sound expends a lot of energy. This is not very efficient, especially in times of drought, high temperatures or if food is scarce, when the horse needs to conserve its energy. To combat this the horses brain has developed the capacity to habituate to things, repeatedly occurring in the environment, that did not lead to fear or danger.